Thursday, June 09, 2005

NBA Finals: Game One

The Anti-Dooling
Before all of you pro basketball haters get too worked up, just know that we'll be doing the same thing for the World Series, the NFL Playoffs, the BCS, and whatever else you want to break down game-by-game. So just take a deep breath and relax. Consider this home base for Game One of Detroit-San Antonio. I'll be weighing in at halftime, probably during the fourth quarter, and then after the game. Don't make me the only one.


Adam Hoff said...

Halftime: Detroit 37, San Antonio 35

No wonder people were bumming about this series. Is anyone still awake? Jimmy Fallon and the MTV Movie Awards are probably winning the ratings battle. I'm telling you, this has been nasty. That's the bad news.

The good news is that I really don't think it is going to be this way all series. Because while these are both good defensive teams, it is not just good defense turning this game into a train wreck. Rip Hamilton is missing wide open jumpers, Parker and Ginobili are having a missed layup contest, and there have been at least three airballs fired up already. This series will have its ups and downs, but they won't shoot this poorly the whole time.

Here are some other thoughts on an ugly first half:

- Tayshaun Prince looked capable of dominating this series in the low post. As was predicted, the Spurs are devoting Bowen to Hamilton (and honestly, Rip is destroying him on those screens), leaving Manu to get worked in the paint. Unfortunately for the Pistons, two things happened: 1) Prince got his second foul at the end of the first quarter, and 2) Larry Brown forgot that NBA players get six fouls. Oh wait, he's just a stubborn old man. He's refusal to play guys with 2 fouls in the first half is going to kill Detroit at some point in this series.

- Speaking of Prince, Al Michaels had a hilarious line when he screamed, "Tayshaun Prince has played every second of this game!" There was a minute to go in the first quarter. Nice.

- Speaking of Al Michaels, I really miss the TNT guys. ABC is brutal.

- Speaking of brutal, that logo they painted at center court is hideous. I thought it was a space ship for the first two minutes or so.

- Okay, enough with the "speaking of" thing.

- The Sheed Factor is bigger than ever in this series. Ever since he came over from Atlanta last year, Wallace has been the X-Factor in almost every big game and series. This is definitely the case against the Spurs. He hit 3-of-4 from the field and blocked four shots to go with four boards and two steals in 16 first half minutes. He probably would have done even more if not for getting "Browned" after his second foul.

- Watching Horry guard Sheed brought back a terrific memory from the Bill Walton-Snapper Jones days on NBC. The Blazers were playing the Lakers in a regular season game and Wallace was killing everyone. Walton got caught up in the moment (as he is prone to do) and said that Wallace could be the best player in the game if he put his mind to it.

Then this happened.

Bill: “That’s a terrible defensive effort by Robert Horry. He didn’t even make it difficult for Rasheed Wallace to score.”

Steve “Snapper” Jones: “Well, what do you expect? Earlier you said that Wallace could be one of the best players in the game, and now you want Robert Horry to guard him one-on-one?”

Bill: “No, I said that Rasheed could be the best player in the game.”

I love that Snapper called out Walton for his inconsistent statement and that the Big Redhead responds by telling Jones, no, Wallace could be THE best player in the game, not just one of the best – completely supporting Jones’ argument that Horry shouldn’t be asked to stop him one-on-one. It was unbelievable! And here’s the best part – I honestly believe that he said that because he knew Jones wouldn’t know what to say. What do you say there? Sure enough, Jones was speechless and Walton started to chuckle. One of the penultimate Walton moments.

- Speaking of quotes (okay, so we weren't done with that) ... here's a gem from Michelle Tafoya. She came out of timeout quoting Pop, so I don't know who to blame for this one: "I don't care if we get killed, but we're playing like high school kids and we're getting killed." Great work.

- Between Rip and Manu, we might need to nickname this Finals "Flop Fest 2005." It's like they are trying to outdo each other. Ginobili is winning the contest though, as well as the title of "most annoying player alive."

- Finally, Horry is officially the Anti-Dooling. You all know how I felt about Dooling and his negative influence, but Horry is just the opposite. He makes all the little plays for the Spurs, hits big shots, is an underrated defender, and can even go to the rim in his old age. He came into the game in the first quarter and the Spurs promptly went on a 13-to-1 run. I'll be keeping tabs on his +/- through the series to see how well he does. Dooling was a -122 in the Miami-Detroit series, which is a record I'm sure. We'll see how far Horry can go in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere, Barkley is yelling "Ginobili!" at the top of his lungs.

Adam Hoff said...

Manu was definitely the story of the second half. That and the Pistons complete failure to score. Honestly, the guys at NBA can spin that one however they want, but that game sucked. I sure hope this series gets better.

By the way, Miami fans must be just shaking their heads right now. Antonio McDyess just killed them with that little turnaround jump shot and tonight he missed like 7,000 of them in a row.

Final thing: Horry got himself a +22 tonight. He really is the Anti-Dooling.

Wait, one more final thing: Did anyone catch Tarantino during the MTV Movie Awards. "This girl broke her BACK doing this movie. And she didn't find out about it until like two months later. Like now. She didn't find out about it until two months from NOW, actually!" What?